Mission Statement - L'Abri NWA
What does it mean to "die to self"... You tell me?
We now have our Biblical History Museum (based on the truths of Christian theism) up and running and on its 5th year now! (www.NWABibleMuseum.org) and we have just celebrated our 2-year anniversary of our coffee-shop and art gallery (www.Post-Postmodern.org)! Now we are finishing the first-leg of our simple (minimalistic) cabin setup on 60 acres of farm-land and we are working to expand our building into a 7 bedroom dormitory (in a very simple life-style combining "Pilgrim Church" + "L'Abri") not to retreat or become isolationists (nor hippies or some cult I can assure you) but to hopefully be a living example to a post-Christian world that Christian theism is true-truth (similar to what Francis Schaeffer did with L'Abri over 50 years ago or even like Eberhard Arnold did with the Bruderhof almost a century ago).
Edith Schaeffer summed this up beautifully in her book The Tapestry (in regards to what we're doing or hope to do the answer is "we have no plans" we're just relying on God to unfold as we follow) when she stated: I can't say too many times, we had no idea there was ever going to be a work called L'Abri nor did we have any blueprint as to what kind of answers were going to be given to a stream of people. We had no dream, vision, or even desire or determination to have an open home. We were simply living a day at a time - this is why we find it so hard to explain to some person with a notebook who asks us: "I am going to start a work like L'Abri. Could you please tell me how?" There simply is no 15-minute outline of "How to." We had simply been led through prayer to a step of reality in asking that his life and work be a demonstration of the existence of God. This step seemed extremely foolish to any friends looking on. It was a step into what seemed total disappearance. (The Tapestry pages 305 & 393)
Again - www.Labri.org provides a very good glimpse into what we're working on here (Lord willing) and in case you're thinking: "What in the world do you believe?!" We also align very closely to their goals and objectives; no snake handling so don't worry: https://labri.org/statements/The-LAbri-Statements.pdf
*Again - This is not some "9th grade education" David Koresh or something; I have advanced degrees (both regionally and nationally accredited) and my viewpoints are written down (published) so it is easy enough for someone to research and rebut. Nonetheless I have went through many atheistic and pseudo-Christian (aka: cheap-grace) to feel quite comfortable in my position on the "objective" truth of Christianity combined with my rejection of the majority of churches that endorse "cheap-grace" (which is neither Christian nor biblical). **If I'm false then it should be easy enough to show me where I am in error. Fair enough? (see: www.CreationHistory.org for more information)
But before we get too crazy people will usually ask: "what/why/when/where???" So just going to try and very simply answer some of these questions here as we are still working as the Lord directs to see what will happen. :o)
First of all let's address the minimalistic approach we're taking. First of all is it really minimalistic? I did a little research and this setup we have here would be a mansion if you compared it to the world; moreover it would have been a mansion in the USA if we compared it to the majority of all homes a century ago. Also we've become gluttons. I have lived in NYC and I have worked at the Fortune 500 #1 company in the world for almost 20 years so I have seen time and time again Christians and non-Christians alike, struggling to buy more stuff and bigger and better items only to be locked into a life of worry, stress and more and more work. More could be said but that is why I feel we must go back to a more minimal lifestyle.
If you're really getting hung-up on this part I will encourage you to google "minimalism" and watch the below short video on the topic.
Just for fun I am including a very short video by Alan Watts who not only died almost 50 years ago but seemed to nail it on where Americans were headed (and keep in mind Watts was more of a Zen philosopher than anything); I think you will enjoy this short video:
Similarly, columnist/writer Rod Dreher seemed to nail it with his book The Benedict Option written in 2017 (well before the insanity, riots and COVID of 2020):
Longer video found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3MRceZX_NA
Francis Schaeffer and L'Abri
Francis August Schaeffer (30 January 1912 – 15 May 1984) was an American Evangelical Christian theologian, philosopher, and Presbyterian pastor. He is most famous for his writings and his establishment of the L'Abri community in Switzerland. Opposed to theological modernism, Schaeffer promoted a more historic Protestant faith and a presuppositional approach to Christian apologetics, which he believed would answer the questions of the age. Schaeffer's wife, Edith (Seville) Schaeffer, became a prolific author in her own right. Schaeffer combined not just apologetics, but history and art all through the lens of God and by doing this he reached an entire world of liberals as well as conservatives by reminding us that the Arts as well as history speak of Christ in almost every picture of art or page of history. We must realize this and if someone brings us a piece of art that we think is trash we must see this not through our own lens but through Christ. Again - not to put Schaeffer on a pedestal but just as an example that this can be academic and family-oriented not cultish in anyway.
Here is a short video by a young group of students describing a recent 3 month term at L'Abri to give you a modern-day idea:
Here are two super-short video clips on who Schaeffer was and how he impacted different persons (one an atheist one one a secular Jew) not by anything he did or was, but by making Christianity "real" and "true" not just by having answers but by living through trust and prayer:
The "guru of NWA" - maybe that will be Gina and I? Joking! ;o)~
The below video series (though a bit dated) gives a good example of how Schaeffer saw history through the lens of Christianity. He was respected but not always liked by intellects, other religions and Christians (though many in the church did not like his "rebellious ways"). Again, Schaeffer is not to be put on some pedestal or anything of the sort but I do think it is an easy way to introduce people to a different way of seeing and living Christianity but also seeing that it is not kooky or cultish as L'Abri has been in operation for well over 50 years, was highly respected as an academic and championed for living by prayer and the Holy Spirit not looking for a hand-out.
Here is the study guide PDF that goes with our series: https://theapologeticsgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/How-Shall-We-Then-Live-Study-Guide.pdf
Again much more could be said but while we're doing a test-run 2020-2021 we hope we'll have something setup so you can come by even if for just an afternoon or a nice lunch, coffee or glass of wine. :o)
Again this is no "martyr-hero" complex or anything of the such. But with my time the last 15 years working with the persecuted church, I feel that they more closely represent biblical Christianity than the world's versions thereby (that is the antithesis of Christianity and we need to lovingly but sternly not be afraid to point these elements out).
Just trying to baptize people requires a police guard?
What is worse is many so-called "Christians" I work with and know today would side more with the protesters than they would the ones getting baptized.
Isaiah 5:20; Romans 1:18; 2 Timothy 3:1